I’m sorry for the lack of posts this past week. The semester is now in full swing and I have been focusing on getting things in order on the work front. I did manage to get to DC over Presidents Day Weekend, where I saw One Life: Grant and Lee: “It is well that war is so terrible. . .” at the National Portrait Gallery. The NPG put together a number of worthwhile exhibitions over the Civil War sesquicentennial. This one concentrated more on the events of the Wilderness Campaign through Appomattox. Focusing on this period was a wise move, and not just because of the sesquicentennial; a few years ago the New-York Historical Society already had a show that focused on the two men’s lives in their entirety.

General Wood in his dress white, Cuba 1905. Wood was a longtime friend of the Roosevelt family.

General Wood in his dress whites, Cuba early 1900s. Wood was a longtime friend of the Roosevelt family. If I am not mistaken that is a poster from the 1900 presidential election behind Wood. It reads “The Governor and the Governor,” meaning Roosevelt and McKinley.

I was doing some work on the Roosevelt Senior project the other day. As I mentioned last week I am fascinated with the provenance of the house itself. One of the unique aspects of the Birthplace was the Roosevelt Medals the RMA awarded each year. They were so serious about this that they awarded the first awards before the house even re-opened. The RMA announced on June 1, 1923 that Henry Fairfield Osborn, Leonard Wood, and Louisa Lee Schuyler would be the inaugural recipients. Things then moved quickly. President Warren G. Harding presided over the ceremony himself in the East Room of the White House on June 15. The Birthplace opened as a historic site on October 27. It is a testimony to how serious the RMA was taking its work.

Wood himself was not there in the White House that day. He was attending his duties in the Philippines. It was probably just as well. He had of course made a presidential run in 1920 and lost the Republican nomination to Harding.